Old Missoula

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A New Opera House

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Missoula Will Soon Be Forced To Build One.

Talk concerning an opera house for Missoula is again revived, and this time with a prospect that the enterprise will be a go, although things are not yet far enough advanced nor in such shape that any definite information can be given. The great trouble is that the building of a large and modernly equipped opera house in a town the size of Missoula is not an enterprise promising adequate returns, and it is a good deal to expect even the most public spirited citizen to spend such a sum of money merely for the pleasure of his fellow citizens. But on the other hand it is coming to be recognized more and more that an opera house and place of public amusement sufficient for the needs of a town is as great a necessity almost as a good hotel. The rents from the house may not be sufficient to pay a fair rate of interest on the money it costs – in fact it is pretty certain that they will not – but the benefit to the town as a whole will be great and lasting, great enough to make it worth while. Such are the considerations as explained by a prominent citizen this morning. The way out of the difficulty which is proposed is to have the house built by a stock company composed of such citizens as can afford to put their money in and get returns not from the receipts from the house but from the increased business and advertising which will come to the town in consequence. It must not be overlooked, however, that with increased facilities for theatrical presentations there will be an increase in the receipts, and it may easily turn out that this increase will prove sufficient to make the investment a paying one in a short time. That it will be a paying one in the course of two or three years is self-evident, and an additional reason for building at once is the fact that the value of ground in suitable locations is constantly advancing in price.

The above article appeared in the Missoula Gazette, October 9, 1891.